#blogElul 22: DARE

My boys and I watched Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech today to mark the 50th anniversary. It is as moving as ever.

Photo by Bob Adelman

Photo by Bob Adelman

I went to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School for Kindergarten, 1st and 3rd grade. We had the most marvelous music teacher there, Mrs. Bailey, who organized an annual celebration of Dr. King's birthday (long before the national holiday). When I was in 3rd grade, I was one of the children who read a narrative of Dr. King's life along with excerpts from his speeches. I don't remember exactly what part I read, but I do know that the lines from the "I Have a Dream" speech were indelibly etched in my mind.

My third grade class was also obsessed with singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee," and Mrs. Bailey indulged us by letting us sing it over and over and over again. Hearing Dr. King recite those lyrics as part of the speech today brought me right back to Mrs. Bailey's classroom and to our sweet voices belting out "Let Freedom Ring!"

How does this connect to "dare?" I have mulled that question all day. Clearly it is daring to dream a dream the size of Dr. King's. And, on the other hand, it is a dream that children quite naturally live out. I remember it from my experience at MLK School, and I see it in my work at a preschool. 

Maybe that is how I wish to dare: to do things that take courage and that deep down are so clearly linked to truth that the path is easy to follow. 

#BlogElul for 22 Elul 5773